Your How to Get Pregnant Guide: Getting Pregnant

You are here! You made the choice to try to get pregnant. Your motherhood journey begins now, mom. We will be with you every step of the way. But first: Do you know how it works? If what you remember about sex ed class is a bit vague, we have you. Refreshing the basics of your menstrual cycle can help you better determine your ovulation window and determine sex accordingly.

And just like preparing for any major life change, there are steps to take before you begin to increase your chances of getting pregnant, such as prioritizing you and your partner’s health. (Yes, sperm health also plays a big role in getting pregnant.)

Finally, we’ll get into some conception sex about conception — to provide A’s to all your Q’s. Plus, how to handle the two-week wait, or the time between conception and when you can take a pregnancy test, with tips from doctors and moms who were there. Remember, you are not alone.

Are you planning a pregnancy? Become familiar with your menstrual cycle

Understanding your menstrual cycle is key when trying to conceive. Sure, you already know how babies are made, but identifying your ovulation window (it’s different for everyone!) Means you can effectively have sex time to ensure sperm are there to meet the ovum when it arrives.

Getting an idea now of the process of how your body makes a baby can alleviate any confusion and frustration that may arise before you get too far on the line.

Read more: The real chance of getting pregnant every month

The menstrual cycle consists of two interactions and overlapping cycles: one occurs in the ovaries and one in the uterus. You can only get pregnant when an ovum is released, known as ovulation. But here’s the kicker: Depending on when that egg is released, it could be during any part of those overlapping cycles. Which means, yes, you can technically get pregnant on your period. (We know, we know!).

The phases of the menstrual cycle:

The ovaries are controlled by the follicular phase and luteal phase; the uterus is controlled by the period, proliferative phase and secretory phase.

Menstruation: The period, which is the normal secretion of the uterine lining (endometrium) and blood through the cervix and vagina, usually lasts 5 to 8 days.

Follicular phase: The time between the first day of your period and when the ovum is released from the ovaries during ovulation, which usually lasts between 10 and 22 days.

Proliferative phase: During this phase, the uterine lining will rebuild in preparation for housing an egg, should it be fertilized.

Ovulation: The act of an egg being released from the ovary into the fallopian tube. Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of the cycle, usually 13 to 15 days before menstruation.

Luteal phase: The time after ovulation, in which the body begins to produce more progesterone to prepare for a possible pregnancy. This is the time when typical PMS can strike symptoms.

Secretarial phase: In the uterus, the endometrium will begin to secrete chemicals to either support a pregnancy or begin to break down the lining for secretion during the period.

Read more: What is a menstrual cycle? (and 7 other things to know about your period during TTC)

Next: Start monitoring your ovulation

Whether you’re trying to conceive or not, knowing where you are in your cycle can make it much easier to understand your mood, energy levels and other factors – and give you a better look at what’s really going on with you. body going on.

Using an application or a period journal can make recording your symptoms fairly seamless, but to get the most accurate view of your ovulation status, you may want to use an ovulation test kit or ovulation tracker.

Related: This little device is clutch if you are trying to get pregnant

You will also want to pay attention to the following three markers when looking for signs of ovulation:

  • Cervical mucus: The consistency of your vaginal mucus can help decipher when you ovulate.
  • Cervical position: If your cervix feels higher, softer and more open, it could mean you are ovulating.
  • Basal body temperature: Determining your basal body temperature every day can help determine the narrower ovulation window when an egg has dropped, as your body temperature will rise very slightly just after ovulation.

Read more: 8 signs of ovulation: How to find your most fertile days

Take time to assess your preconception lifestyle habits

This is also a good time to research your general health — and your partner’s health. After all, it takes two to make a baby, right? Male health associated with fertility is often overlooked and underestimated – but it is just as important. Ideally, you should start implementing these lifestyle changes at least 3 to 6 months before you start getting pregnant, but do not worry if you do not have that much time. Start taking those births as soon as possible!

Read more: Are you trying to get pregnant? 6 important career moves to make now

How to get pregnant

This is the part you’ve been waiting for. Finished? Here’s how to make a baby.

If you are trying to get pregnant through sex, and you are not watching ovulation, have sex every other day all month long.

If you are tracking ovulation, and your partner has an average or high sperm count, you can have sex in your fertile window every day.

If they have a low sperm count, you should have sex every other day to increase the sperm concentration in the ejaculation (your provider can help you determine what your partner’s sperm count is)

Our quick and dirty guide to getting pregnant spells it all out step by step.

Do not miss these tips that they certainly do not teach in sex ed.

In addition, we are dispelling the myths about conception sex, such as whether certain sex positions are more likely to help you get pregnant (hint: no.).

Read more: Conception guide for LGBTQ families, from choosing a donor to tracking your cycle

What to know about waiting two weeks

Once your fertile window is over, the waiting game begins. Are you wondering how soon you can take a pregnancy test? Or what are your real chances of getting pregnant every month? You will usually have to wait two weeks between when you had sex and when your hormone levels will be high enough to be detected by a home pregnancy test.

We know you’re probably questioning every new symptom that pops up for a sign that you might be pregnant, but to help get your mind off things (unlikely, we know), here’s a list of things to do while waiting for fortnight.

Learn more about what a baby can do between conception and a positive pregnancy test.

Read more: What does a dull streak mean on a pregnancy test?

Define fertility challenges

Because fertility struggles are so common, we would be negligent not to talk about what happens if you do not get pregnant right away. Know that 15% of couples may be having trouble getting pregnant, and that help, ranging from your OB-GYN to specialists, is out there. Here’s how infertility is defined in the medical community:

  • For those under 35, infertility is defined as an inability to conceive after a year of trying to conceive.
  • For those over 35, infertility can be diagnosed after six months of unsuccessful attempts to conceive.

However, it is empowering to know that infertility is not just a woman’s health issue and that no, nothing happens to your eggs the day you turn 35. If you are concerned about your chances of conception, talk to your OB-GYN, who can help answer your questions or recommend a reproductive endocrinologist to perform more in-depth fertility tests.

Read more: 12 signs that you may be struggling with fertility, according to experts

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you get pregnant with birth control?

Yes. Oral contraception is about 90% to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, which means there is a small chance that you could get pregnant if you do not use any additional form of protection during sex, such as a barrier method. As for whether hormonal contraception will affect future fertility, there may be a temporary delay in your ability to conceive, but it should quickly reverse on its own. If you have more concerns, talk to your doctor.

Read more: Wait, you can get pregnant with birth control?

Q. Can you get pregnant at your period?

Yes. This is unlikely, but not impossible. Because sperm can survive in your vagina for up to 5 days, you can eventually get pregnant if you have sex by the end of your period and then ovulate 4 or 5 days later.

Read more: Can you get pregnant with your period? Yes, here’s how

Q. When should you start taking prenatal vitamins?

In an ideal world, you would start taking at least three to 12 months of prenatal vitamins before trying to conceive. It gives your body time to start building up nutrients for optimal egg quality (eggs mature every three months) and to support a growing fetus. Start taking prenatal vitamins at least one month before conception, which can help ensure that there is enough folic acid in your body for neural development of the fetus, which occurs very early in pregnancy — in the first four to six weeks of pregnancy.

Read more: I am a nutritionist: Here are my 5 favorite prenatal vitamins

Are you trying to get pregnant? Find our favorite products for your new trip in the Motherly Shop.

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